Tips for avoiding constipation
Looking for constipation relief? Tips to get things moving.
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There are a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding constipation and the use of laxatives. What’s true? What’s not? Here we debunk the most common myths.
While a lack of fibre in the diet can cause constipation, some people with severe constipation actually find it gets worse if they up their fibre intake. Often this is a result of not drinking enough water, as fluid helps high-fibre foods move through your digestive system. See what works for you.
That depends. Many older people are inactive, which can lead to constipation or make it worse. But there are usually other factors to consider, such as your general health and whether you’re taking constipation-inducing medications.
This is one of the biggest misconceptions, but don’t worry. Experts say constipation doesn't cause a build-up of toxins in the body.
There's no evidence that constipation leads to bowel cancer either. However, in some cases it can be a symptom of an obstruction somewhere in your intestines. If you experience stomach pains or see traces of blood or mucus in your stool, contact your doctor immediately.
Changes in hormone levels before that time of the month can cause constipation in some women. But again, symptoms can vary widely from person to person.
Pregnancy hormones do seem to affect how quickly food and waste travels through the gut, slowing things down and sometimes leading to constipation.
Most laxatives are safe to use, as long as you follow package directions and don’t overuse them. Although some people with chronic constipation find that they need laxatives to be able to go most of the time, it's rarely because they've become 'tolerant' to them.
Some people can misuse laxatives but they aren't addictive if used according to package directions.
Categorically NO—they are licensed for constipation and do not cause weight loss. Taking a laxative where there is no need for constipation relief will merely result in the loss of water, salts and nothing more. Laxatives should not be taken for weight loss. Please talk to your doctor if you have any concerns regarding the use of laxatives.